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A Dream

How are you?

This is a question. This is the question.

How. Are. You.
How have you been? The years pass on, and I, my own, is a lost dream.
Good morning. Good evening. Good riddance. Good bye.
I hoped to fake a lie, and complicate the already complicated.
You were a dream I had. A fantasy in writing. A fiction from a novel. A neverending pause.

How real is a dream, and how vivid can it be? It was there, and it was not;

And we were here but now we’re not.
And how are you, my friend? How I’ve longed to know.
The words we left unspoken brought tears that were forgotten. Yet the answer did lie in what was written – an archived crusade that rotted.
My! The years passed. The shame once cruel to one, yet today, a single question, a single thought – a memory and a clause.
It is our story left unwritten…

For which sake the past forgiven.
And I think, and I wonder, and I know now what a blunder

If I had let it tarry on whilst knowing me, and knowing you.
You can’t, i say, you can’t.

And I? I shan’t forget.
I write this here today in memory. The memory of a dream.

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In My Search for Truth, I Learned of Ang Dating Daan and Bro. Eli, and Everything Changes

 “The Old Path.”
 
I remember the days of my youth where I first heard of it. I remember the voice of conviction in the man, Bro. Eli Soriano, who spoke. He spoke of things unknown to me, yet familiar. I believe I thought it right to repel, to find it at the very least distasteful to listen.
 
In 2006, Bro. Eli was a household name and the program “Ang Dating Daan” was popular (until these days). I would hear his preaching, and then hear much about him, but I never bothered to actually listen.
 
During the time, the idea of shifting away from my Catholic belief seemed an impossible feat.
 
I was devoutly Catholic. I even memorized many Catholic prayers in my lifetime and knew by heart many of the doctrines of this church, which I revered then as the true religion of the world.
 
Little did I know the time would come, that through the program “Ang Dating Daan” (‘The Old Path‘ in English), I will veer away from the faith that I learned to accept blindly since birth – the faith I had readily perceived to die with.
 
That was until I actually listened.
 
To Bro. Eli.
 
Through Ang Dating Daan.
 

 
“The Old Path” started radio broadcasts in 1980 as a three-person production team. Bro. Eli, encouraged by his nephew and now veteran broadcast journalist Kuya Daniel Razon, went on to preach on television starting in 1983. Later on, ‘Biblia Ang Sasagot: Itanong Mo Kay Soriano’ worked its way as the programs best segment.
 
 

“I may be mocked, abused, accused, and denied. But given the chance to live again, I will choose this life for I am loved by my God!”

– Bro. Eli Soriano on Twitter, February 4, 2010

 
 
Then, it was in the late 2000s that Ang Dating Daan received huge backlash, as Bro. Eli was attacked personally by another religious group. The actions of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), founded by Felix Manalo, taken against Bro. Eli reached impeccable heights, storming the news media with fallacies – stories that even I believed.
 
It was not until I was in college that I slowly opened my heart to the teachings of Bro. Eli on UNTV Public Service Channel. Later on, I would resolve to listen to the indoctrinations offered at the Members Church Of God International’s congregational locales.
 
Bro. Eli was out-of-country, when charges were re-opened against him. The Iglesia Ni Cristo made many false accusations against him, and drove the lone televangelist to stay away from the country. It was then that Bro. Eli had realized the God-given opportunity for him to preach salvation to other nations.
 

 
 
Like the many, I have been tricked to loathe this preacher and the program which did nothing but good to others. I was wrong – terribly wrong indeed. Ang Dating Daan has been devoted to many advocacies and charities in line with Bro. Eli’s motto, “Walang gawang mabuti ang magbubunga ng masama. (Good deeds can reap no evil.)”
 
I would be remiss to not mention the advocacies started through Ang Dating Daan, with the leadership of Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon.
 
Only last year, during the 35th Anniversary of Ang Dating Daan, 1,700 PWD (Persons with Disabilities) and charities received a night to remember, witnessing the ‘Ang Dating Daan Chorale’ sing praises to God, and receiving donations of 100,000php each.
 
The Medical Missions and socio-civic activities of UNTV are well-supported by Ang Dating Daan. As a volunteer nurse with Clinic ni Kuya Medical Mission in Cavite, I can very well say this.
 
 
“The Old Path.”
 
The program celebrates 36 years of continuous and fruitful broadcast. Celebrating the Anniversary at the Mall Of Asia Arena on December 9, we invite you to listen to the Live Bible Exposition.
 
I am humbled for the blessings of being able to know the Church that I am now a part of. Listening to the program and Bible Expositions, I found my way.
 
And now I share this to all. Be willing to listen. I dare you to take this journey –
 
A definitely worthwhile journey through The Old Path.
 
 

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Blank

This is a blank space.

 

I have just written “This is a blank space.” on the blank space.

Now, the blank space is no more.

 

Where is the border of your gate from the sidewalk?

And how do you know which part of the border is still yours?

Until exactly which part of the face is still called “chin”?

And at what angle in the horizon can we tell that the sun has begun to set?

 

If forty-nine people out of fifty got question A correctly,

Is that credible proof that the one in fifty is mentally-challenged?

How about if the same one in the fifty got the rest of the hundred questions correctly

And the other forty-nine got them wrong?

 

These are silly questions,

And I am a sad woman

Testing the limits of an unrequited love

Thinking till I cry, crying till I sleep.

 

How does one man know that they’ve got their stuff together?

How do they not know that it has just not arrived yet?

Do I know that it can and will arrive soon?

Well, damn.

 

I used to think I could write like the gods.

I used to have luck on my side.

I used to love how things just worked out for me.

I prided myself of my best and my complacency.

 

There is a mystery about the world –

How one can slump so low from a pedestal so high

And never even see it coming.

Who put people on that pedestal that sometimes one didn’t know how high above one stood?

 

And there is a mystery about people –

Like ruthlessness behind the sweetest of smiles

Or history behind an innocent face.

What made pedestals too high to hike and built craters too deep to climb out of?

 

What does it mean? What should it mean?

Three years tomorrow – I am thankful.

Three years gone by – I’m hopeful.

Three years. Three.

 

And I’ve watched my life go by,

And I’ve seen other lives go,

And I’ve known and not known things,

And I’ve had to forget things.

 

This blank space is filled now.

Surely, I should sleep now.

But what of tomorrow? How?

I can’t be sad, but I can’t be happy either.

 

This was a blank space.

Now that I have written on the blank space,

I can start again on another blank space

For this blank space is done.

 

But just because I’ve put it away doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

Just because it’s in the past doesn’t mean it won’t matter.

Just because it doesn’t matter doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

It does. It does.

 

Just when I thought one thing, something else comes around.

Even when we anticipate consequences, we still fall in love.

Even when we prepare for it, we can still be unprepared.

My heart aches, this space is full, but my thoughts are blank.

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Excerpts of Life: I Speak, Therefore I Rant.

Uarts.edu Art by Lindsay Beach

 

I used to think that the reason I’m not prone to grammar-lapses was because I hooked onto the American accent as a kid. No.

Proper English grammar was hard-wired into me not only by the sole effort of my mom who strictly forbade speaking Tagalog inside the house (until we moved), and her TV choices for the both of us (me and my sister), but also my grade school teachers who were exemplary at teaching and speaking the language, using words in variety and non-redundancy, and explaining diversity very accurately.

Being able to speak English in this manner (as my primary language) has been very useful to me. I have seen the benefits of it even in my growing years. I became confident and was good with academics.

(Heck! I often used the words “complacent” and “redundant” in grade 6. My 4th grade diary is full of words you’d think a high school student should be using in essay-writing. And some FilAms I meet, who don’t know me, are remarkable, as though I insulted them for responding in the same language.)

Teaching English as a first language in a country whose native tongue isn’t English is quite a issue for many, but should children have or not have this privilege? Research have shown that being bilingual from a young age have positive effects on brain development. (Read-up on that! I’m not posting any links here, you can google it.) And, it’s not like you are also going to deprive the child of his heritage and culture? You can still teach him how Apolinario Mabini was a great man but suffered Polio so he definitely wouldn’t stand up in those movies. He’ll learn Tagalog once he starts day care, it’s the perfect place to learn! When he’s three, you can take him out to meet people, and he’ll want to learn those languages they’re speaking too, so by the time he enters school, he won’t be at a total loss.

I share this in order to inspire, because I want parents to emulate this example of my mother who contemplated early-on the importance of teaching your child the most-spoken language in the world, and not just to a level of complacency, but to perfection.

Granted, no one is perfect. But what use is any effort if you don’t strive for the best, give your best. And if you are a mother, you must know what it means to want the best for your child.

For this, I thank you, mom.

 

#RantOver

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Excerpt of Life: Confessions of an Introvert

Photo Courtesy: IntrovertJapan.com

Lifehack.com put out an article on “9 Struggles Only Introverts Can Relate To” written by Thibaut Meurisse. You can click on the title to see it. So these are the struggles that introverts in general face according to the article, and my self-assessment/opinion (basically, how I qualify) follows.
1. You feel like everything you say must be invaluable and perfect – TRUE
This is very true. Actually, everything under this article.. and let me add. If my answer is wrong, I feel like I will not be accepted by the rest of the class, and if my answer is alright, I believe I will be just invisible because, well, I don’t stand out. But I think, eventually, I do stand-out, and that’s what I like about myself. I do become known and center of gossip. LOL.
2. You feel under-appreciated – NOT REALLY
I don’t talk much and I do wish people would want to get to know me better, but I don’t feel underappreciated – that’ll be like saying I deserve more appreciation, and that’s not how I feel. I always have moments that I feel left behind but I’ve come to believe that’s quite normal. I don’t feel UNDER-appreciated. If anything, I just don’t make the effort to stand out.
3. You enter a group and become invisible 5 minutes into the conversation – TRUE!
Grade 6 at a new school, I wanted attention, so I made it. Basically, the rule with me is, if I want to draw attention, I should have the intention to. First year at high school, my classmates actually left me behind while we were walking to transfer from our classroom to one that was like a few meters away. I cried that day. Third year high school, I transferred back to private school, everyone who has ever been my friend no longer cared to invite me over at lunch. The new group I was in were the type to have fun by picking on me. Works out for the rest of high school anyways.
Photo Courtesy: Neknaz.blogspot.com
First year college, I was late for my first subject. I was not alone though, there was this other girl who was also late to that class. I thought we’d be best friends. A day or two later, she and the group of friends we’ve made have left me to fend for myself – totally forgotten. Totally invisible to the rest of the world. I. am. such. a. loser. She doesn’t even acknowledge me, and anyone else I’ve ever been close to in the first week, well, they’re gonna be ignoring me for the rest of the semester until one of them is kicked out of the Cool-girls-group. Exciting. I am a convenient fall-back person.
4. You hate throwing parties, especially at your own house. – In this universe, YES.
 
Actually, I would have love to throw parties at my home but who would I invite? And who would want to come to a party when the rules would be:
– no alcoholic drinks;
– speakers to a minimum;
– clean-up after yourselves
– and everyone out by 8:30pm because I want to be alone by then.
5. You feel lonelier at social events than you do when you’re by yourself. – TRUE
Yeap! In retro-spect, I feel lonelier knowing that I’m left behind rather than chosing to be left behind whether or not a social event is in progress. Like, say, if I’m not invited to a slumber party which the whole class of girls were invited to, the reason simply being that they know I won’t go, that’d definitely make me feel kinda lonely. I like slumber parties.. as long as they’re actually slumber parties. I’ve never been to one though. I missed a friend’s debut once or twice, but there were urgent matters to attend to plus no one insisted I came. I honestly usually never feel genuinely welcomed to these occasions so.. yeah, most times it’s okay when the feeling is mutual.
Photo Courtesy: allposters.co.uk
That said, I regret telling my mom, in 4th or 5th grade, that I wasn’t invited to a certain someone’s birthday party. I didn’t even care TBH, my mom asked. Okay, maybe I skipped out saying happy birthday or something, I don’t know, I wouldn’t remember, they usually never talk to me.. but it’s in the card on the present. I think nobody genuinely wanted me at their parties, so I stopped trying.
6. You feel totally exhausted when you have to spend significant amounts of time with a large group of people you don’t know. – PARTIALLY TRUE
I’ve learned, in this world, there are many types of people and there are actually some who are more sensitive than others. There are people who know what it feels like to be you, and so it’s okay to be around those type of people even if you don’t know them.
Photo from: AnOrangeBox.com
If I was compelled to attend this event where there were a lot of people I don’t know, I’ll go for faith – faith that there are people like that out there, and for the sake of introverts like me who would do anything to have a room to themselves by having someone else be in it too – thereby, non-verbally communicating to everyone else that this room is occupied by two people who have business to take care of with each other but not really. Sometimes, silence between two people can be intimidating and extroverts would naturally flee.
7. You find it hard to think when you’re in a group – YES
For obvious reasons. I like doing things on my own, but I’m wise enough to chose otherwise because I am the competitive type. I actually like studying in small groups.
 
8. You hate phone calls – NOT NECESSARILY
I hate phone calls if it’s from:
– terrifying people who usually bring bad news
– not so terrifying people whom I don’t really know that might have misinterpreted my silence the last time we met
– frenemies
– people i don’t understand
– people who don’t understand me
9. You secretly wish you were an extrovert – AGAIN, NOT NECESSARILY
Photo courtesy: Urbanful.org
Things that make me wish to be an extrovert are limited to the following:
– meeting really nice people but having no energy to pursue any conversation
– when there was delicious cake, and someone asks “who wants the last slice” out of all the people i don’t know the names of.
– when I’m around kids.. being an introvert makes it hard for me to deal with them in multitudes
Technically, what makes me want to be an extrovert are the times people misinterpret me. But I am who I am, and I meet more genuine and true people because of who I am. No offense to extroverts but sometimes by being an introvert, you can gauge who are really worth you and your time.
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Excerpt of Life: Living in Love

I don’t understand how there are people who don’t believe in love.

There is love in the streets, not just among people holding hands, but when you walk into a restaurant where a kid is scolded by his mother.

There’s love where a dog courageously defends its master.

Love is seen among children, when a four year old brother takes his seven year old sister’s chocolate all the time, but she still hides it in the same place for him to find.

You see love from a breast-feeding mother, love from a hardworking farmer, love from a lover, love from one another.

And you don’t stop believing in love just because you were hurt by someone you loved.

You loving is proof enough of love.

Why would you stop believing in love?

(“Living in Love,” May 18, 2015)

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Excerpt of Life: Ripples

image

They say “forgive and forget.”
But can one really forget?
The water runs deep.
Into once dry valley, weep.

The lake will one day settle.
Reflections mirror one day meddle;
Each of a reality
Furthers anonimity.

But by rain or flying pebbles
Reflections will cease.
Merely I gamble
These ripples at ease.

Mistakes are a painful mem’ry.
Regrets are a furious bunch.
None shall heed my query
Of how love settles nothing by hunch.

But by hook or by crook,
My actions at ease,
I shall waiver
As I shall please.

And by shake of the earth
Or by the quiet of breeze
Merely I’d gamble
These ripples at ease.

Reese Qu, Apr 12, 2015

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